Sudden paw licking…..

Maybe you guys can help me out here? Ali has just started licking (obsessively) his paw. It's actually getting a little red under the coat on top of his paw, and between his 'toes'. I checked it out and found nothing WRONG with the paw (nothing in it or on it). I've also cleaned his paws too. It's weird, he's never done it before. He actually licks the other ones too a bit but the one paw is getting a LOT of licking. I was gonna try that Bitter Green Apple or something….and ideas???

I would say, go ahead with the bitter apple. I also would recommend giving him something else to play with like a rawhide or something. Try and get his attention away from the foot.

When you cleaned it, did you use a little bit of shampoo? It may be something on his foot that you can't tell is there. He may have also hurt it and just needs to give it a day or two of non-attention time, for it to feel better.

It could be that his anal glands need to be emptied, does he have gland problems at all? It can quickly become a habit so if you can distract him in anyway you might break the habit.

I acutally used a little Cetaphil (gentle cleanser) and water when I clean his paws. I've cleaned them every day since this started (about 4 or 5 days). I also tried a little Neosporin on the paw because it looks irritated. As for his anal glands, I've never had them emptied, and he's 4…...

This kind of behavior can result from food allergies. Our girl started the paw licking and had some other issues. Our vet suggested a food allergy. Once we switched her to a food with no grains it cleared up and has never been a problem again. Even if your pup has been on the same food for a while, allergies can develop suddenly.

@BasenjiByTheBay:

This kind of behavior can result from food allergies. Our girl started the paw licking and had some other issues. Our vet suggested a food allergy. Once we switched her to a food with no grains it cleared up and has never been a problem again. Even if your pup has been on the same food for a while, allergies can develop suddenly.

Very true about allergies… my Kristii has a corn allergy, but it never totally came out till she was 3yrs old....

@basi:

It could be that his anal glands need to be emptied, does he have gland problems at all? It can quickly become a habit so if you can distract him in anyway you might break the habit.

Anal gland problems result in paw licking? 😕

Sometimes if they get something in their foot the wound tract is not obvious to visual inspection. You may want to try soaking the foot in warm water with some betadine in it for a few days. If there was something in the foot this can open up the wound tract so it comes out.

my parents lab mix had that problem.. but the vet said it was a form of OCD and tried to prescribe puppy prozac.. she actually got raised sores though.

Thanks guys, I'll try these remedies…

@JazzysMom:

Anal gland problems result in paw licking? 😕

Yep 2 out of my 3 will start to do it when their glands need emptied and I know of quite a few other dogs that do the same.

Hope you get to the bottom of the problem.

Topper started licking the middle 2 toes on his rear foot several days ago, by the second day they were swollen and red and no hair, getting pretty raw. Like you, I couldn't find anything visible to my eye, anyway. We tried to distract, I used tea tree oil near the open areas because he hates that smell, and alternated using an antibiotic ointment, a benadryl ointment, and an anti-fungal drop on the red areas. After 3 days, they are much better and he is less interested, I think a combination of all of the above, especially preventing the licking. The worst night I gave a benadryl pill, too. I thought it might be an insect sting, but they can develop "lick sores" pretty fast! Good luck, I hope your boy's foot clears up soon!

Anne

@basi:

Yep 2 out of my 3 will start to do it when their glands need emptied and I know of quite a few other dogs that do the same.

Hope you get to the bottom of the problem.

Interesting. I hadn't heard of paw licking being a symptom of anal gland issues. Good to know. Thanks.

@MacPack:

Topper started licking the middle 2 toes on his rear foot several days ago, by the second day they were swollen and red and no hair, getting pretty raw. Like you, I couldn't find anything visible to my eye, anyway. We tried to distract, I used tea tree oil near the open areas because he hates that smell, and alternated using an antibiotic ointment, a benadryl ointment, and an anti-fungal drop on the red areas. After 3 days, they are much better and he is less interested, I think a combination of all of the above, especially preventing the licking. The worst night I gave a benadryl pill, too. I thought it might be an insect sting, but they can develop "lick sores" pretty fast! Good luck, I hope your boy's foot clears up soon!

Anne

Sounds interesting, I will try that…....it's not getting any worse, but it's not getting any better either so I will try ANYTHING. I may also have his glands checked out...

EL D had a tiny rose thorn imbedded in his paw once and did a lot of paw licking and biting. Eventually I found the little pin hole and managed to draw out the prickle. It could still be something in his paw.

@wizard:

EL D had a tiny rose thorn imbedded in his paw once and did a lot of paw licking and biting. Eventually I found the little pin hole and managed to draw out the prickle. It could still be something in his paw.

That's a good point, thank you. I DO have rose bushes in the yard….
As for the 'anal glands' does anyone know of any other symptoms that would tell me they need to be checked?

Scooting.

It's easy enough to clear the glands, so I'd just get that done (or you can do it) and go through the rest of your list of things to check.

@etzbseder:

Scooting.

It's easy enough to clear the glands, so I'd just get that done (or you can do it) and go through the rest of your list of things to check.

Hmmm, he never scoots. At least not that I've noticed…

Mine had the same paw issue a month ago. We took him to the vet and they sad it was probably some type of allergy (enviromental most likely, but maybe food). they put him on temaril-p (sp?) which helped. His nose also got swollen. Then a couple days ago his eye swelled. We took him back and they still think its allergies. When he wasnt on Temaril I had him on 1mg of Benedryl per pound of weight, 2-3 times a day. That really helps and its safe to give. I also cleaned his feet when he came inside with a strong black tea (use double the tea if you were making it for yourself), this really helped to stop the itching, and therefore the licking. I have also read that apple cider vinegar and water mixed 2:1 will help. Good Luck!

Have you tried changing food? Ours made a miraculous recovery once we got her off of food with corn/corn products.

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